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News in Short

News in Short - 20-July-2021

Pegasus software used to spy on Indians

Date: 20 July 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • A report has revealed that Israel-made spyware Pegasus was believed to have been used to snoop on at least 300 Indian phone numbers, including those of over 40 senior journalists, opposition leaders, government officials and rights activists.
  • Seventeen international media groups, including The Guardian and The Washington Post, led the investigation into how Pegasus was used to allegedly extract messages and information from the phones of journalists, politicians and activists.
  • Pegasus infects iPhones and Android devices, allowing operators to extract messages, photos and emails, record calls and secretly activate microphones.

AI tool to study cancer causing mutations

Date: 20 July 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Researchers from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras, have developed a machine learning model that can use genome sequencing data to detect cancerous mutations in the body.
  • Cancer is caused by mutation or growth of cells in the body. While cell mutation is a common phenomenon, only some mutations cause cancer.
  • They are called driver mutations. Other mutations, which are a majority of all mutations, are benign and are called passengers.
  • The researchers further designed NBDriver, a mathematical model based on artificial intelligence, to identify the pathogenic variants of mutations that can cause cancer.

Navjot Singh Sidhu appointed Punjab Congress President

Date: 20 July 2021 Tags: Appointments & Resignations
  • Former cricketer and minister Navjot Singh Sidhu was appointed the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief by All India Congress committee.
  • Congress also appointed four working presidents for the Punjab unit — Sangat Singh Gilzian, Sukhwinder Singh Danny, Pawan Goel and Kuljit Singh Nagra.
  • While Sidhu's name was opposed by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh but party's state in charge Harish Rawat flew to Chandigarh to pacify the sulking CM.
  • His remarks come amid factionalism in the Punjab unit and a series of meetings by various factions ahead of the party’s revamp.

Nepal PM Deuba wins trust vote

Date: 20 July 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Nepal’s new Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba sprang a surprise by seeking a vote of confidence in the reinstated lower House of Representatives and comfortably won it.
  • Mr. Deubawas appointed as the prime minister as per the Article 76(5) of the Constitution on July 12 following Supreme Court’s intervention. He secured 165 votes in the 275-member House.
  • A total of 136 votes were required for Deuba to win Parliament’s confidence. He had to seek a trust vote within one month after being appointed as prime minister.

Afghanistan recalls ambassador from Pakistan

Date: 20 July 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Afghanistan has announced the recall of its ambassador and senior diplomats in Pakistan in the wake of the kidnapping and assault of the envoy’s daughter in Islamabad.
  • The Afghan diplomats would remain in Kabul until Pakistan took action to apprehend the persons involved in the abduction of the envoy’s daughter.
  • The latest development came days after Afghan President accused Pakistan of not doing enough to stop thousands of terrorists sneaking into Afghanistan or to nudge the Taliban to join peace talks to find a political settlement.